Emergy – Burnham Grammar School
The Managing Director of Emergy from Burnham Grammar School in Buckinghamshire explained the company’s vision: “‘Emergy’ is simply the combination of ‘emergency’ and ‘energy’. Being a simple name, we feel it represented the key values of our company; providing energy in an innovative, minimalist and truly portable fashion”.
So what was the unique aspect of their company?
‘Emergy’, the initial product, offered the consumer affordable portable power – 850mAh at 4.8mm thin with credit-card dimensions. This charges the average smartphone battery up to 50% of its maximum capacity, deemed to be an absolute necessity in the current smartphone market. The dimensions of the product set ‘emergy’ apart from the large majority of mobile battery pack chargers and with its sleek range of black and silver for the subtle approach and a blue and pink range to appeal to those looking for a more vibrant product, it certainly looked like a champion.
Through networking, the team were invited to a meeting in January 2015 with Carphone Warehouse to discuss their idea with industry professionals and pitched to three senior executives at the Headquarters of the Carphone Warehouse in North Acton, London. They really liked the product and branding and were given the exciting opportunity to come back at a later date and pitch to their buying team. Steve Borg, from Carphone Warehouse said, “I have no hesitation in saying that both your product and your pitch are of a very high standard”.
Emergy won their local Area Final and also the Berkshire County final in 2015 and represented the County at the Regional Finals in June 2015 at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, competing against seven other companies to fight for a place at the National Final in London.
When quizzed about their YE experience, the company were united in agreeing that the financial success was only part of their achievement and that developing key skills and maturity as young business men and women was just as, if not more, valuable. They spoke of sharing moments of high pressure, triumph and disappointment and how they dealt with these emotions as a team which, as one team member said, was not initially easy as they barely knew each other at the start of the process.
The Marketing Team led by Yahya Adnan, reflected, “learning the importance of branding and the passion that must bleed through trade stands, social media and presentations has been so important to us”. Adopting the ethos of a big corporatation was a feature that Emergy tried to emulate and they invested time and money into building a strong brand image.
One steep learning curve Emergy encountered was the problem of communication across the globe. Their product came from Asia and initially they found that adapting to different time zones and making sure communication was clear was not always easy. It resulted in a massive disappointment after waiting weeks for an incorrect order, due to miscommunication. However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the company’s response was to improve their language skills, patience and problem-solving, for example, by negotiating a replacement batch of packaging with easy to understand English.
In summing up the YE experience, Jack Nicholls, Deputy Managing Director, said, “we believe we built a very strong base for our company and could build on it in the future. The brand image gave us the credentials to become a very influential company within the technology market through the use of a successful press release and constant use of social media. We grew in confidence and working as a team towards a goal meant that our productivity and performance was outstanding, evident in our awards and passion displayed across the entire team”.